The Captiva is expected to be the chief driver of increasing sales this year, leading the company’s charge to boost full-year domestic deliveries 20% in 2016.
Korea President and CEO James Kim, who succeeded Sergio Rocha on Jan. 1, holds his first news conference this week as he launches an updated Chevrolet Captiva C-segment CUV and presents a positive outlook for the automaker in 2016.
The Captiva is expected to be the chief driver of increasing sales this year, leading the company’s charge to boost full-year domestic deliveries 20% to 191,000 units and claim 10% of the local market.
That would be a significant share increase compared with the 8.6% achieved last year. Kim provides no global sales target during the presentation of the new Captiva.
“We have redesigned the vehicle with customer needs in mind, based in part on their feedback, putting in place some of the most up-to-date features, technologies and material refinements available,” Kim says. “This is, without a doubt, the most exciting Captiva since the model’s introduction. It will raise the bar in the midsize SUV segment in Korea.”
The updated exterior includes an all-new front end with daytime running lights; a larger, bolder grille; and a large, high-mounted Chevrolet bowtie logo.
Kim says GM Korea’s place as Korea’s No.3 automaker will be assured by the introduction of seven new or updated vehicles in 2016. He hints at an ultimate goal of taking second place in the market away from Kia.
The Captiva meets Euro 6 emissions standards with its European-sourced 170-hp 2.0L turbodiesel and a 6-speedautomatic transmission imported from Japan.
Asked if availability of only one engine limits the Captiva’s appeal, a spokesman says flatly, “It will be the most popular powertrain for the C-segment SUV market this year.”
He notes Captiva sold 8,511 units in Korea last year, and GM Korea expects a substantial volume increase this year. However, no specific sales targets have been disclosed.
The CUV/SUV segment in Korea increased 33.9% last year and accounts for 17% of the market.
Kim says GM Korea’s big sales push will be backed by the launch of the Captiva in April and the all-new Malibu, which is being produced in Korea, during the first six months of 2016.
A plug-in hybrid version of the imported Chevrolet Volt will be released sometime in the second half of the year, as well.
There will be four other new entries in 2016, the spokesman says. Some will be all-new products and others will involve just powertrain changes.
GM Korea is targeting customers 30- to 40-years old with the Captiva, which includes MyLink connectivity and Apple CarPlay, hot features among young buyers of the Spark and Impala in Korea.
Safety features include blindspot and rear cross-traffic alert, stability controls, antilock brakes, traction control and active rollover protection.
Sources peg the sales price for the Captiva at 28 million-33 million won ($24,000-$28,400), but official pricing has not been released.